Own use behind Hong Kong buyer's move to invest in Japanese market

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 12:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2015, 12:01am

While most Hong Kong buyers buy homes in Japan for investment, some are looking for their own use.

Jessie, who travels to Japan more than three times a year, bought a 1,000 square-foot luxury apartment in the Roppongi district of Tokyo for 160 million yen (HK$10.36 million) last year.

"For the past several years, prices for five-star hotels have risen from U$300 to US$800 per night in Japan," she said, "Why not buy an apartment as my holiday home!"

Her home search first started in the secondary market.

"It was frustrating. My agent once arranged 10 units for viewing, it ended up most had been sold by the time I arrived there."

Her decision to own an apartment became firm when she saw the Japanese yen against the US dollar drop from 80 to 120 late last year.

She was informed by a Japanese friend that a new luxury development was to be launched in Roppongi.

In Japan, potential buyers need to go through a ballot if a unit receives more than one interested party during a new project launch.

"The unit I was interested in attracted two potential buyers including me. So, I had to go through a ballot and I got the unit at the end," she said.

"Without the help of my friend as an interpreter, it would have been extremely difficult for me to close the deal. All documents were written in Japanese and all sales staff only speak Japanese," she said.

Jessie expects the unit will be delivered in March next year.

Compared with her three apartments in Hong Kong, she said the price for the unit in the heart of Tokyo was very reasonable.

"London may be my next target as the city is also my favourite holiday destination," she said.